Review – Tata Zest Revotron 1.2T Petrol

Posted on: Jul 14, 2014 - 2:24pm IST

This review focuses on the Tata Zest Revotron Petrol 1.2T. Detailed information about the car’s exteriors, interiors, can be found in our review of the Zest Diesel AMT.

Exteriors:

Tata Zest Revotron Petrol Review headlights and DRLs
The top-end Zest XT gets LED daytime running lights.

The Zest petrol we drove is the top-end XT trim. It is differentiated from the Zest diesel AMT XMA variant by LED daytime running lights and 8-spoke alloy wheels. The bootlid carries the ‘Revotron’ badge and visual differences go only this far.

Speaking numbers, the Zest petrol gets a ground clearance of 175 mm (165 mm for the diesel AMT) and the car will weigh between 1,115-1,135 kg.

Interiors:

Tata Zest Revotron Petrol Review Auto AC touch
The AC display is carried to the touchscreen music system.

Inside, the XT trim adds driver-seat height adjustment, auto down driver side window, a touchscreen infotainment system with voice recognition and automatic climate control. The display of the AC system appears on the touchscreen unit and can also be controlled via the rotary knobs. Additionally, the AC and several other features for music and communication, can be controlled via voice commands. The voice recognition system had no problems recognizing the Indian accent and acted quickly.

Features:

Tata Zest Revotron Petrol Review Eco and Sport
The 1.2 petrol engine offers three driving modes.

As mentioned earlier, variants and features will be revealed at the launch, however, the Zest petrol we drove is the range-topping XT variant. It gets daytime running lights, projector lights, foglights, alloy wheels, steering integrated controls, keyless entry, Bluetooth-enabled music system, voice recognition, touchscreen audio, climate control, reverse parking sensors, driver seat height adjustment and three driving modes.

Safety features include ABS, EBD and dual front airbags.

Engine and Gearbox:

The Zest petrol is powered by Tata’s all-new petrol engine. The 1.2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor called Revotron makes 90 PS (88.7 bhp) and 140 Nm of torque and uses a 5-speed manual gearbox.

Tata Zest Revotron Petrol Review engine
The Revotron unit makes 90 PS and 140 Nm of torque.

The Revotron motor scores highly on NVH: It’s near silent at idle – outside and inside – and while driving, the motor revs until 5,000 rpm and the engine feels extremely smooth even at the lower regions. Low-speed performance of the engine is pretty good as well, as there is no turbolag or turboboost to be felt. Sadly, this is where the good bits end.

In terms of outright power, or performance, the Revotron doesn’t have much to talk about. It takes its own sweet time to rev from 1,000 to 5,000 rpm, and you’re left wanting for more performance. The 140 Nm of torque is claimed to arrive between 1,750-3,000 rpm, but the mid-range performance of the car doesn’t suggest so. Instead, the Revotron engine builds up its outputs gradually.

Tata Zest Revotron Petrol Review tacho
The Revotron is a smooth engine, but not a performance one.

This is however, without a question of doubt, Tata’s best petrol engine ever made, but it falls short of the competition. You’re left thinking as to why Tata chose turbocharging, as rival products feel better to drive despite being naturally aspirated. If the turbo’s aim was improving fuel economy, the news isn’t all that great as the on-board computer didn’t show a number higher than 9 km/l.

Coming to the three driving modes, this feels like a gimmick. Each of the three driving modes have separate engine and throttle maps according to Tata engineers. Switching from City mode (default) to Sports mode gets slightly better results, however, the car gets a bit jerky from the throttle response. In the Eco mode, the engine takes even longer to rev up, the idea being the driver will shift early to a higher gear thereby reducing fuel consumption. We don’t imagine that prospective customers are going to be amused by this feature at the end of the day.

Tata Zest Revotron Petrol Review gearlever
This is by far the best shifting Tata gearbox.

The gearbox, for most of the time, feels precise (it is not as slick as the Maruti Dzire though) and the clutch has very little travel and is light to operate.

Ride and Handling:

This department is similar to the Zest diesel. Thanks to the lighter weight, the Zest petrol feels more nimble to turn.

Brakes and Safety:

The braking feel and power of the Zest petrol is similar to the diesel. However, the top-end XT trim adds driver and passenger airbags in addition to ABS and EBD.

Fuel Efficiency:

Tata Zest Revotron Petrol Review efficiency

The Zest’s Revotron unit, when driven with a light foot, can return about 11 km/l in city driving conditions. However, the number dropped to 8 km/l when driven a bit hard. Rival products would seem more efficient compared to the Zest Revotron, though the ARAI figure is awaited for a fair comparison.

Prices:

The Zest petrol should be priced in the region of INR 5.0 lakhs to INR 6.5 lakhs, ex-Showroom, New Delhi.

Verdict:

Tata Zest Revotron Petrol Review badge

It may seem like choosing between apples and oranges, but its the diesel variant of the Zest which has better finesse and better performance at the end of the day.

The petrol motor, as mentioned earlier, maybe Tata’s best attempt till date, but it needs more work to even rival naturally-aspirated engines from Honda and Maruti. Tata has got three things right with this engine: noise, vibrations and low-speed performance. However, an enthusiastic driving performance, that’s a given in a turbocharged engine, isn’t there.

As a complete product, it is the Zest diesel (specifically diesel AMT) which gets our vote as Tata’s ‘comeback car’.

Tata Zest Petrol review – Image Gallery

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27 thoughts on “Review – Tata Zest Revotron 1.2T Petrol

  1. vasu says:

    Lets wait and see whether Tata can increases its sales or it will be same with these two products.

    Reply
  2. Rahul says:

    I agree with you Anjan in one aspect; why to put turbo, if naturally aspirated works better..

    I always wonder why do Tata Motors focus on giving ‘more’, than making product world class with excellent quality??

    Could you please comment on the build quality.. Has it improved or the same typical Tata product?

    Note: I seriously believe that Tata Motors is not an Indian company anymore, it’s a foreign company. JLR fetches all the profits..

    Reply
    1. Anjan Ravi says:

      Hi Rahul,

      The build quality has improved drastically, and it is the best built Tata to date. Only certain components (steering, door panels) felt a bit cheap.

      Reply
      1. Rahul says:

        Nice to know that.. Thank you, Anjan!

  3. Shashikant Tewary says:

    IAB, please tighten your BOLTS and put some ZEST in yourselves. I checked Autocar India, Overdrive, Zigwheels and Rushlane. After reading these, I feel you just did not drive the vehicle. My apologies if hurts, but this is how your review seems to be.

    Reply
  4. pindou says:

    best car in the class. diesel in the move. comes quickly in dealers. amaze and x-cent find in Tata zest a strong competitor. Open yours eyes. Modern and good design and maybe good price. Successful for this when diesel comes in dealers ship.

    Reply
  5. Govind A Nair says:

    Revotron is a real good engine in the segment thats a fact..

    Reply
  6. sid says:

    wait a minute.. why is everybody getting so overprotective towards Tata? the review is short because it only has the driving part. for the full review read the first article (diesel amt). obviously the revotron isn’t as good as the k-series, kappa 1.2 or the brio’s iVTEC…. Its just a xeta with a cheap, low tech turbo slapped on…… and a stereo cannot b a car’s usp…..

    Reply
    1. Yuva says:

      Hello sid, i beg to differ. Its not like you just connect a turbo to an engine and VOILA. Lot of R&D hours are spent even on the blade incline angle to the exhaust cabon density. I dont say its an Ecoboost but Its not an easy feat to design a turbo, you might end up blowing your cylinder head on the first rev itself if not engineered properly. 90bhp may seem on par with the competition but the torque figure of 140Nm @ 1750rpm is just master-class over Xcent,Amaze and Dzire’s 109Nm,114Nm and 114Nm(all delivered at 6000rpms) respectively. Just google about Harman systems and the plethora of possibilities it offers( not only music). All in a 6-8 lac segment is stupendous, this is the way you build a brand without taking your customer for granted.

      Reply
      1. SAm says:

        In fact with having turbo , definitely it will not return 8 km/l mileage..If you look at FE its is round about 30..And one of review i read it might be between 25 to 30…for that only TATA must have put lots of efforts to produce revtron F-Tronic

      2. Bhargava says:

        Hi Yuva. That’s absolutely true!! I agree with you completely. Many people depend on hearsay, and barely take the effort to experience the product first-hand.

  7. Yuva says:

    No way i’m calling this a review, half baked first drive at its best(no offence pls). No mention of the Harman Music system which is easily the trump card Zest holds. Everything else just looks like expanded form of the spec sheet. Time for IAB to pull up the socks.

    Reply
  8. Govind A Nair says:

    Review reflects your attitude that curbs u to accept a global TATA product, Anjan.. Revotron engine falls short of competition??? Really absurd statement..

    Reply
    1. ramesh says:

      Ramesh iam getting only 11kmpl on my zest revatron engine

      Reply

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About the Author
Anjan
Anjan Ravi

I'm a true-blooded petrolhead. Hope you enjoy our news stories, launch coverages, motorshow coverages and test drive reports.